Hurricanes are among the most destructive and dangerous weather events affecting coastal areas. Strong winds, heavy rain, and storm surges can result in a lot of damage to homes and buildings and even put lives at risk. One commonly asked question homeowners have is whether they need to board their windows before a hurricane.
Boarding up windows before a hurricane can provide protection from flying debris and reinforce weak points in a home’s structure. However, it can be expensive and time-consuming, and alternative measures, such as hurricane shutters and impact-resistant windows, are available.
The article will explore the benefits and drawbacks of boarding windows before a hurricane and some alternative measures homeowners can take to protect their homes from hurricane damage.
Why Board Up Windows?
Boarding up windows can help protect homes from hurricane damage in several ways. Some of the benefits of boarding up windows include:
- Protection from Flying Debris – During a hurricane, strong winds can hurl debris such as tree branches, rocks, and even objects like cars and boats. Boarding up windows can prevent these objects from breaking the glass and entering the home, leading to severe property damage and putting lives at risk.
- Reinforcement of Weak Points – Windows are often the weakest points of a home’s structure and can be vulnerable to damage during a hurricane. Boarding up windows can reinforce these weak points and prevent the wind from entering, causing pressure changes inside the home that can lead to roof failure.
- Peace of Mind – Boarding up windows can provide homeowners security and peace of mind, knowing that they have taken a proactive measure to prevent their home and family from the potential impacts of a hurricane.
The Cons Of Boarding Up Windows
Despite the benefits of boarding up windows, this measure has some downsides. The following sections will discuss the drawbacks of boarding up windows:
One significant drawback of boarding up windows is the expense. The cost of materials and labor can quickly add up, making this measure prohibitively expensive for some homeowners. Hiring professionals to do the job can also increase the cost further, making it even less feasible for some.
Boarding up windows can also be time-consuming, which may not be practical for some homeowners. Depending on the home size and the number of windows, it can take several hours or even days to complete the job.
This can be a significant inconvenience, especially for those with busy schedules or limited resources.
- Limited Visibility
Another disadvantage of boarding up windows is the limited visibility it creates. While it may protect the home from flying debris, it can also limit the amount of natural light entering it, making it feel dark and claustrophobic.
It can also make it difficult to see what’s happening outside, which may concern those who want to monitor the storm’s progress.
While boarding up windows can effectively protect homes during severe weather events, it has drawbacks. Homeowners should weigh the benefits and drawbacks and consider their circumstances before deciding whether or not to board up their windows.
Watch this video to learn how to board up windows for a hurricane:
Alternatives To Boarding Up Windows
While boarding up windows can be an effective measure to protect homes from hurricane damage, it is not the only option available to homeowners. Some alternatives to boarding up windows include the following:
- Hurricane Shutters
One option is to install hurricane shutters. These shutters are available in various materials, including aluminum, steel, and impact-resistant glass. Homeowners can install them permanently or temporarily, depending on their preferences.
Moreover, hurricane shutters are a more permanent solution to protect windows from hurricane damage than boarding up windows, and they can also add to the home’s aesthetic value.
- Impact-Resistant Windows
Impact-resistant windows are another alternative to boarding up windows. These windows are made of laminated glass and can withstand strong winds and flying debris. While they are more expensive than traditional windows, they provide a more permanent solution to protect the home from hurricane damage.
- Plywood Panels
Plywood panels are a cheaper alternative to boarding up windows. They can be cut to fit the window size and attached using screws or clips. While they are not as effective as hurricane shutters or impact-resistant windows, they can provide some protection from flying debris and are an affordable option for homeowners on a budget.
Preparing Your Home For A Hurricane
Whether or not homeowners choose to board up their windows, several other measures can be taken to prepare their homes for a hurricane. One important step is to trim trees and shrubs before the hurricane arrives.
Trees and shrubs can become projectiles during high winds, causing significant damage to homes and property. Trimming them beforehand can help reduce the risk of damage.
Homeowners should also secure outdoor items such as furniture, grills, and other items that can become flying debris during a hurricane. These items should either be secured to the ground or brought indoors to prevent them from causing damage.
Another vulnerable area is the garage door, which high winds can easily damage. Homeowners can reinforce their garage doors with braces or other measures to prevent damage.
Checking for leaks is also essential before a hurricane. Leaks in the roof, windows, and doors can cause significant damage during a storm, so it is important to identify and address any leaks before the hurricane arrives.
Overall, taking these steps can help homeowners prepare their homes for a hurricane and minimize the risk of damage and injury. It is essential to remain vigilant and follow the guidance of local authorities during hurricane season to stay safe.
Boarding up windows can provide a protective barrier that prevents flying debris from shattering the glass and entering the home, which could lead to severe property damage and jeopardize the safety of those inside.